8.03.2017

The Blog's Future

Tonight I am missing this space.  I am missing the way I used to pour my heart out here.  I was trying to think while I was at the pool this afternoon (with all four kids, by myself) why I don't come here more.  And while I don't want to use my kids as a cop out, I am totally going to use my kids as a cop out.

I blame them for my absence here in two ways-- first, they keep me busy.  Like, eyes open, Go! Go! Go! until eyes shut, Sleep! Sleep! Sleep! And secondly, they are getting older... which makes sharing some things feel wrong. Or awkward... or at the very least, their age and awareness of the blog makes me pause. Even Wyatt, only six, will often say something that makes me laugh and then ask, "Are you going to put that on the blog?"

I thought this afternoon, as I swam Carly & Wyatt around the pool, the twins off together in the lazy river, that maybe I should quit the blog.

Pause.
Gasp.

I honestly can't believe that thought crossed my mind.  I have been blogging for nine years this month.  (First post here for fun!)  It has been such a huge part of my life, such a huge part of my identity, that I banished the thought of canceling the blog pretty quickly.

Instead I decided that I am going to try to persevere.  We are in the thick of our first full summer in our new hometown with no family around to help give us breaks with the kids, and more chores and to-do's than ever now that we own our first home.  So I'm going to give myself a little grace as summer wraps up, and plan on jumping into more frequent blogging come fall when the boys all start school again.

One of the main reasons I don't want to give up blogging is that many of the blogs I followed when the twins were little ended up quitting as their children grew, and I have missed having those older twin parents to look up to.

That said, one of the things I wanted to blog about (and wish more people had blogged about before me) was that I told the twins, shortly after their ninth birthday, about sex.  It started innocently enough-- one of them was using the hose extension on the vacuum and sucking his shorts up. I warned him not to do that in case the vacuum *ahem* caught something else along with the shorts. Ha!

His twin brother said, "Just do it near your balls! They don't do anything! What are those for anyway, mom?" I said, "Well, they are what holds your DNA for when you have babies."  Pants-vacuuming-brother stopped vacuuming his pants and continued cleaning his bedroom. Then his twin, who was sweeping the bathroom, paused, looked at me and asked, "How does the dad's DNA get to the baby?  Wait! How did dad's DNA get in YOU?!?"

That was it.

I had sensed this time was coming, and figured it'd be within the next year or so, but I certainly didn't feel prepared in that moment.  But I knew that was my opportunity to talk to the twins about it. (Josh had Wyatt and Carly at the grocery store, so we had privacy, which was nice.)  I feel like I laid a really good foundation for future discussions, assuring the boys that we will feel awkward, and at times we will feel embarrassed, but that doesn't matter.  I promised them that they could talk to me about anything and that I'd always answer their questions.

I ended the night feeling proud of my boys, and proud of myself.  Afterwards, though, I was a little sad that I felt I couldn't share this milestone parenting moment on social media.  Sex is such a taboo subject... but after much thought, I decided that I would share a bit about how it came up and the age of our boys when we had the talk, because I sure wish I had known more about what other families had experienced before I went through it myself.

***

My hope is that when summer is over, I am able to take time to share more of my parenting stories with you.  I love when I make time to write things out here because you are such a wonderful, supportive community, and I love that. It's something I never want to lose.

So give me the rest of August to make memories with my kids. Then I promise I'll be back here with lots of stories to share!

***


6 comments:

Kristin in Alaska said...

I don't know how old my nephew was when his dad told him where babies come from, but the reaction (following the shock) was an exasperated "That's not what you told me before!" Apparently he was shocked that babies aren't created when you kiss a girl in a bar... :-)

Beth A. said...

Shelly, You are such a gifted writer. I love to read your blog. I've been a fan for 4 years now. I have hope that some day you will finish the book you started. It was riveting.

I love watching your children grow. They are beautiful and amazing and you are such a good mother. I admire how mindful and passionate you are about mothering.

I love the profound things you write. You can put things into words that describe how I feel that I could never begin to verbalize. You have a lot of wisdom and I appreciate you sharing it.

I love how you are always continually learning and working to improve yourself. You set such a great example for mothers and women in so many ways. Thank you for the time and effort you give to share your lovely world. You motivate and inspire me to be a better person.

I also love reading about real life in other climates and geographical areas. This world is full of amazing places. I never thought about the tundra areas of Alaska having human inhabitants until you described life there. There is always so much to learn!

Enjoy the rest of your summer. School will be here before we know it.

Nuts about food said...

Phew, you got me worried there for a while!!
I totally understand about blogging and children growing and feeling like it is no longer your choice, what you should publish about their lives or not. A solution could be, now that they are old enough, that you can discuss with them what makes them uncomfortable and what you can publish or not about them before doing so. Fiona

Ashley said...

My motto is that blogging should always fill you up, not stress you out. Blog breaks are great in that they help you refocus and get inspired to begin again. Hope it's the same for you! (But let's keep writing letters in the meantime, hah!)
xoxo

Amanda said...

I told my boys about sex right at the same age;). But we did have a planned talk with a book and everything �� Sounds like you took opportunity of the perfect moment! I enjoy your blog so much!!!! Thank you for sharing it with all of us! And yeah--- sometimes life is just too busy and the blog has to take a backseat. We all understand that!

Tabitha Studer said...

first, I second what Ashley said about blogging!
Second, so great that you went for the topic as it came up naturally. I think that's half the battle! Grey (at seven) asked what 'sex' meant after a Viagra commercial was on during a football game and I told him that we'd talk more about it when he was older; like ten, but for now I could tell him that it had to do with kissing and when we see movies and shows with two people in a bed - it has to do with that. And he was totally good with that much of information for now. It was enough to feed his curiosity but not too much. There's a lot of great resources on Pinterest too about the sex talk (especially about how to talk about consent!) Good job momma!